Tracking Welfare Reform: Designing Followup Studies of Recipients Who Leave Welfare. Conclusion

05/19/1998

State policymakers need to consider several issues in deciding how to study families that leave welfare, including methodology, sample size, information needs, and available resources. At least thirty-three states are now committed to some type of followup study. Information from those studies should give states vital feedback for policymaking and substantially increase the understanding of welfare reforms. The findings will assist states in determining whether recipients are moving from welfare to work and whether programs and support services must be modified to facilitate a successful transition. The outcome data from these studies will be particularly useful to policymakers interested in adopting the approaches developed by other states. Followup studies enable states to track the historic changes in the nation's welfare system and their effects on the families that have left the welfare rolls, and to consider ways to best assist these families in the future.